Friday, April 07, 2006

The Place Promised in our Early Days


The place Promised in Our Early days is the second movie from a relatively new Director, Makoto Shinkai. Shinkai gained alot of buzz after he released Voices of A Distant Star, a movie that he wrote, voice acted, directed, and animated by himself on his computer. For his second movie Shinkai had to recruit a few more people, but still maintained the independent spirit of his first film. Both of his movies have recieved tremendous praise from the anime community, and some have dubbed Makoto Shinkai with the moniker of "the next Miyazaki".

High praise, but does Shinkai live up to it? Commence Reviewing NOW!!!


Visual Quality-20 points. The whole time I was watching this movie, I was in awe, it looks amazing, and it was not animated by major studio. It was mainly made by one man, and a few other people all on their computers. One thing that will strike any viewer is the incredible backgrounds, and the brethtaking sky scenery. The character designs are pretty well done, each character is distinct, and easily identifiable. Moreover the animation is fluid, and well done, I can't believe this wasn't produced by a major studio. I wonder what would happen if this guy was put in charge of a studio Ghibli movie, the beauty of it would probably kill whoever watched it.

Plot-35 points. Some of the subplots are a little weird, alot of Scifi stuff is included parallel dimensions and whatnot. The parts explaining all of the strange happenings went right over my head, I didn't even try to comprehend it (not that it was based on fact or anything). However, the main storyline of how friendship and romance develop over time is pretty good. Basically The place promised in our early days takes place in an alternate reality in which part of Japan is split into a northern and southern half after World War II and takes a look at the lives of three kids who build a plane to travel to a mysterious tower erected on the northern half of Japan. The ending of this anime leaves alot up to the viewers imagination, not exactly a bad thing, but I felt like I should mention it here.

Characters-27 points. One of the best parts of this movie is the extensive attention paid to developing the main characters. One of the main characters provides the narration for most of the tale. This technique of character development is seldom used in anime, and gives a unique tone to this film. Overall each of the three main characters comes off as a believable person, and this adds greatly to the impact of this anime.

Music-10 points. Lately I have been neglecting the music section of my reviews, so I will try to put a little more emphasis on this section. Overall the music is great, lots of orchestrated pieces, and songs. The music adds greatly to the romantic tone of this film.

Visual Quality-20 points, Plot-35 points, Characters-27 points, Music-10 points.

Overall score-92

If you guys didn't notice I, Rabbit-man, used a different style of writing for this review, tell me how you liked it.


25 Comments:

At April 07, 2006 9:54 PM, Blogger Aimless Anarchist said...

Rabbit man, this movie looks really good. Had you not been across seas, I would have gone to your house to simply borrow it. You didn'yt really tell us much about the movie, but the visuals that you present to us are amazing.

So... what's the general plot of this movie? You gotta atleast give us a little bit of the juice...

 
At April 07, 2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Well lets see the story uh I'll just pull the description from amazon.com

"The story takes place in a alternate postwar period, in 1996, where Japan is divided. Hokkaido is ruled by the 'Union' while Honshu and other southern islands are under US authority. A tall tower was built on Hokkaido, which could even be seen from Tokyo. In the summer of 1996, three middle-school students make a promise that they'll cross the border with a self-constructed plane and unravel the tower's secret, but their project was abandoned after the girl, Sayuri Sawatari, became mysteriously ill and transferred to Tokyo. Years later on the brink of another war Hiroki Fujisawa finds out that Sayuri had been in coma since then, and he asks Takuya Shirakawa to help him finding a way to wake her up."

and here's what the back of the dvd said
"Set in an alternate universe, this sci-fi story centers around three teenagers, a rip in the space-time continuum, and the perseverance to keep a promise against all odds. The film captures slice-of-life beauty between three friends, while epic events threaten to drive them apart."

Here's another one that describes that Voices of a distant star movie I mentioned

"From Makoto Shinkai, the man hailed as Japan’s “new Miyazaki,” come two unusual and evocative tales of love and relationships. In Voices of a Distant Star, when a mysterious alien force begins to attack Earth, young Mikako feels compelled to join the resistance. But when she does so, she leaves behind the young man that she loves. As she flies further into deep space, the time between her messages to him becomes days, then months and finally years. While she ages a few days, he grows years older. Can love transcend time and space?
The Place Promised in Our Early Days follows the lives of three young people as they grow from middle school into adulthood. A mysterious tower provides a powerful magnet for their ambitions and dreams, but when Sayuri suddenly disappears, Hiroko and Takyua find themselves on divergent paths. It will take time and the threat of war to draw the friends back together again. But will it be too late?"

 
At April 10, 2006 9:38 PM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

See ok..the plot of the story sounds cool. But the fact that it is in crappy anime animation, and how they add all the childish corniness into it ruins the whole thing!!!

If that movie was in computer animation like Final fantasy The Spirits Within, I would see it, but the mere corniness of it alone repels me as if it were made of cryptonite.

 
At April 10, 2006 9:42 PM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

P.S. Do you think the Japanese are putting subliminal messages into their anime?

That would explain why anime fans are all mindlessly drawn to socialism and have anti-authority complex thought processes.

Do you think the Japanese are trying to brainwash Americans as to more easily pacify the population for a future invasion? Hmmm...

 
At April 10, 2006 10:16 PM, Blogger Aimless Anarchist said...

Hmmm... a Japanese Conspiracy plot?

 
At April 10, 2006 10:44 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Of course the Japanese want to invade america, (who wouldn't?) but they aren't going to waste their time with anime. THINK KENT THINK.

Tell me how well did the Ring do at the box office?
Or how about the Grudge, didn't that do really well also?
Now tell me what is the only common thread between these two movies? They are both remakes of JAPANESE movies.

Wouldn't it make alot of sense for the Japanese to place subliminal messages in these blockbuster movies that are seen by millions of people, as opposed to messing with a moderately successful niche industry?

 
At April 11, 2006 3:30 AM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

Maybe they are starting small with anime to affect the selective few, the target audience, the impressionable youth who watch these anime shows.

It would be too obvious if there were such messages in blockbusters that are viewed by everyday, working class people.

But the goal is to affect the vulnerable teens who use anime as an escape from their lives, these are the people they are trying to reach because these people are the outcasts and rejects that - due to their experience of being picked on - have acquired a resentment of American society (anti authority complex. These people are therefore more easily persuaded into striving against their own people. Kind of like the "bad apple" theory Marx talked about.

When the normal generation passes away, there will be a new generation of people who watched anime as children who have these subliminal messages ingrained in their thought processes.

Do you know any anime-fans that don't hate their own country, that don't hate authority? I've never met one, but I know a whole lot of geeks and ghouls who love anime and all are self-proclaimed anarchists.

Interesting...

 
At April 11, 2006 9:31 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Lets see Final Fantasy the spirits within, what does wikipedia have to say about it.
"Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a science fiction movie by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series of RPGs. It was released on July 11, 2001 in the United States and was the first animated feature to seriously attempt photorealistic CGI humans. It is also one of the biggest box office bombs in film history, with losses of over $120 million, effectively bankrupting Square Pictures."
"Other critics focused on the failings of the animation itself. While the rendering is intended to be photorealistic, the characters' motions and expressions are actually quite stiff and unexpressive compared to actual human motion. This is most notable in the "doll-eyed stare" of the characters, which many viewers found particularly unnerving, but also in the rigid poses and gaits of the characters, and the lack of deformation in skin and tissue accompanying character motion such as speech and grasping. The modelling of lighting on skin and hair (which in reality are subtly translucent) is also limited, giving the characters a "painted statue" look. As a result, the film is often cited as an example of animation that falls into the uncanny valley."
So, Kent it seems like you want anime to be like final fantasy the spirits within so it will be tremendously unsuccessful?

 
At April 11, 2006 9:38 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Also I don't hate my country, or authority.

 
At April 11, 2006 11:33 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

And you mispelled Kryptonite it has a K. A FREAKING K!, NOT A C A K!!!!!

 
At April 12, 2006 4:36 AM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

All I said is that the animation in anime bugs me, if they made computer generated animation similar (not identical) to that which is in the final fantasy movie then it would be more pleasing to my eyes and wouldnt irritate me as much.

About the 'Kryponite' comment, I was used to spelling and reading it it with a C because I bought a gun made by Remington that is unofficialy called the 'Cryptonite carbine' because it is mostly made of unbreakable space-age polymer. Its just the civilian (meaning not fully automatic) model of the XM8 which was developed by our government to replace the assault rifles we have in our military, but the program was cancelled and now its on the market, so I had to buy it. Its a hella cool, go here to see a picture of it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM8

 
At April 12, 2006 10:28 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Well the computer generated animation in final fantasy was too expensive, so you want to see something like Pixar or Shrek?

Kent you and the children of today, they all can't handle the hand drawn animation. It all has to be flashy computer stuff. Well I only have one thing to say Y2K. Did all of you forget? The computers were going to destroy us all during Y2K, and all you people want to reward the computers by supporting computer generated movies. All of the hardworking Japanese and Korean and maybe a few american animators, YOU would forsake them all, for some computers that are plotting our destruction? I am shocked. SHOCKED!!!!

 
At April 13, 2006 4:28 PM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

You know they don't actually hand-draw the whole cartoons in most anime right? It actually IS computer generated, they just do it to make it look like it was hand drawn.

Plus, the whole Y2k thing (even though i believed it at the time) was just a big conspiracy theory conjured up by antitechnology hippies. If/when computers take over, the hippies will be the first to be killed, so I have nothing to worry about hahaha.

 
At April 13, 2006 7:06 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Only a few of the anime reviewed on this site were done with computers. Here are some statistics.

List of anime that probably did not have computer animation, and date released:
Kiki's delivery service-1989
My Neighbor Totoro-1988
Evangelion-1995-1996
End of Evangelion-1997?
Princess Mononoke-1996

Movies that had computer animation
The place promised in our early days-200?
Howl's moving castle-2004
Big O II-2002

So not all anime have computer generated graphics. The ones from the 80s could not have had any computer involvement.

 
At April 13, 2006 9:39 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Why am I even talking to Kent Rogers anyway, he's one of those losers who doesn't have more than 1,000 page views. In fact I'm better than all of you people, and I've been blogging for the least amount of time. HAH I'm so great!!!

 
At April 14, 2006 3:38 PM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

Actually I have alot more than 1000 page views!

I have less than 1000 PROFILE views!

Big difference.

 
At April 14, 2006 3:42 PM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

By the way, reason you have that many profile views is because you list alot more of your favorite movies and crap for people to search for and get directed to your profile. It's all anime, and God knows there are alot of anime geeks that use blogspot.

 
At April 15, 2006 7:23 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Jealous of all the PROFILE views Kent?

 
At April 16, 2006 4:19 PM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

No it doesn't matter to me.

P.S. But if it DID matter to me I could get way more profile views!

Hah!

 
At April 17, 2006 7:21 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Yeah I'd like to see you try.

 
At April 17, 2006 10:07 PM, Blogger Aimless Anarchist said...

Yo, I have over 1,000 profile views!!! Kent, you are slacking off!!!

 
At April 18, 2006 4:10 AM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

You guys list alot of crap in your profiles that other geeky anime fans on blogspot like, hense you get profile views.

That doesn't really mean jack diddily squat.

 
At April 18, 2006 9:38 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

Kent look at yong kwon's interests do any of them look like anime?

Ah why am I arguing with you anyway you are just bitter/jealous about the profile views.

 
At April 19, 2006 6:00 PM, Blogger Kent Rogers said...

I will shoot you, skin you, then eat you. I will use your fur and hide for a front doormat. THEN, I will use your feet for lucky charms and sell them to mexico where they sell those sorts of things.

 
At April 20, 2006 7:16 PM, Blogger Rabbit-man said...

You know you are only helping my argument.

 

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